Speed Reads

and we've come to the end of the road

Roy Moore might have to actually concede to Doug Jones now

Roy Moore may have ridden his horse to the end of the road.

The office of Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill (R) announced Wednesday that it had received 5,333 total overseas and provisional ballots pertaining to the Dec. 12 special election between Moore, a Republican, and Democrat Doug Jones, who were vying to fill Alabama's open Senate seat. The race had been called for Jones hours after polls closed, but Moore had refused to concede, citing outstanding ballots that had yet to be counted.

But Jones achieved victory by a margin of nearly 21,000 votes, meaning that even if all 5,333 of the late ballots received by Merrill's office had been marked for Moore, it wouldn't be enough to put him over the top. On election night, Merrill told CNN he thought it was "highly unlikely" that Jones would not be declared the winner of the race, even as Moore's camp clung to the idea of the outstanding ballots and floated the possibility of a recount.

Alabama state law stipulates that should the results of a race fall within 0.5 percent, an automatic recount would be triggered. As the Montgomery Adviser notes, even if Moore won all of the new votes, "Jones' margin of victory, currently 1.5 percent, would fall to 1.1 percent."

Moore's stunning loss in the deep-red state came after he was accused by several women of pursuing, groping, or assaulting them when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s. The Moore campaign did not respond to request for comment from the Montgomery Adviser regarding the Wednesday announcement from Merrill's office, while a spokesman for Jones wrote: "This election has been over since Dec. 12."